4 basic on-page SEO tips for your new blog or business website

When you first start your website or blog is important to optimize it as much as you can so that Google can index it as soon as possible. On this guide, I will go through a few of the basic and, in my opinion, most important on-page SEO things that you can do. These steps not only will they help you rank but they will also help you understand a bit more about what SEO is all about because we should be honest. SEO is not easy. It requires a lot of effort and planning before you start seeing results. But let’s continue with our tips.

SEO Tip 1 – The title tag

Your title tag. I will never stop saying that this is the most important part of on-page SEO. The reason is simple. The title tag is the first thing that Google sees when it crawls your website and also it’s the first thing that will appear on the search engine results page. I have written this article on how to better optimize your title tag. Take a look at it 🙂

SEO tip 2 – Local SEO

If local searches are important to you, don’t forget to include the name of your city on your title. This is a very basic and very important thing to do. I mean I would never imagine, a pizzeria without its location name on the title. It doesn’t matter if you have the greatest pizza (ok it does) but if you are a new player in your area and don’t include the location, the city name on your title tag, you are missing a lot of clicks from the search results.

SEO tip 3 – Meta description

Next SEO tip is the meta description. A meta description is a little snippet that appears on the Google result page:
Google snippet screenshot

This is something that might not work as a direct factor in the eyes of Google (like a title tag), but it helps visitors understand what this page is about. If people who are searching click on your link due to the help of a nice meta description and they find the information they are looking for, then Google will take that into consideration. SEO is all about satisfying the visitors so take that into consideration when you are composing your meta description.

If you don’t write one it’s not the end of the world because Google will pick up something from your blog post and use it a snippet. But there are pages that don’t have a meta description, for instance, a portfolio page or a gallery or an archive page, so it’s always a good idea to write an optimized Meta description. That way you decide what will be shown, and not Google 😉

SEO tip 4 – Headings

Take advantage of Headings.  Headings are the subtitles of your blog post. In code, they are the titles that are between H1 tags: <h1> This is a Heading </h1> and they can go all the way to H6. Assuming you use WordPress this is how you can select them.
headings h1-h6
Even if you don’t use WordPress, most of the platforms have this kind of drop-down menu to help you arrange text and titles. Headings are important because they get noticed by Google and they can include your keywords or even synonyms of your keywords (if you want to avoid repetition). It’s also more pleasant to the eye to separate large parts of a text into smaller ones.

I’m going to show you an example of how I use my keyphrase example: this article of mine focuses on “online business” so I’m using this on the title tag and on the headings.

http://clickvoyagers.com/2019/02/05/so-you-want-to-start-an-online-business-a-how-to-guide-2019-part-2/

I use it on the title, and on the subheadings.

using wordpress for your online business

 

Last SEO tip for today – Internal Linking

I’m pretty sure you have already plenty to work with but I wouldn’t feel it’s a complete tip list if I didn’t mention the internal linking. Link to other articles of your website. You have two benefits from doing this. First you can guide your visitors further into your website so they can read more content from your fantastic website and, second, you help Google crawl better the articles it’s indexing by providing an internal link, a pathway into the rest of your website. If you have a related article to the one you are writing don’t hesitate to link them together. Like I did on the first tip here 😉

 

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How to write a great Title Tag for SEO

In this article, I will give you a few tips on how to formulate your title for best SEO results.

First, let me say there is no such thing as the perfect SEO title but we all aim towards perfections. We try our best 🙂

Preparation

It doesn’t matter if you have written your article or not yet, but I would recommend writing the whole article or blog post first so that you have all the nice keywords in your head and then work on your title.

I also recommend you to do a bit of research, in order to come up with the most suitable keywords for your title. For the purpose of this tutorial/guide, I will use food-related SEO title tips because it’s easier to explain as everyone understands food 🙂

So let’s say you are writing a recipe for a vegan pasta dish.  Do a Google search for vegan pasta dishes to see what others have done. See what Google suggests to get inspired.

google suggests

Vegan as a word itself is too broad, so I suppose you will narrow it down by what kind of dish it will be. Is it pasta? Great! Then you can add an ingredient. Does it include broccoli? Mushrooms? Is it gluten-free pasta? Is it a lunch or a dinner recipe? These are things that you can use to narrow it down and help you get the clicks you want. The more specific you are the better.

Put all your important keywords together and compose the best title tag you can think of. Then go to Google to test drive it. Use that title you have written and see how does it perform on Google. What results do you get? Are they close to what your article is about? Then you are doing a great job. Get inspired and if you feel it is needed, follow their lead by editing your title to be similar to the top results.

I did the following test. I searched for:

  1. Vegan gluten-free pasta dish for lunch, and
  2. Vegan gluten-free pasta recipe

Here is what I got for search no 1:

1st vegan dish result

 

And this is the results for search no 2:

2nd vegan search result

Personally, I was more happy with the 2nd search results but I suppose it’s all a matter of what your article is about.

From the above experiment, you get to see what the titles of the top players are. Of course, the title itself is not the only ranking factor but it is definitely an important one.

My rule of thumb for a good title tag

I try to follow this rule which is not my own, but it’s pretty much the “industry’s standard” if one can say so.

I tend to use the keyword or keyword phrase first and then add my website’s name, or brand name. There are others that do the opposite and with great results but, personally, I think it works better to have the focus keyword at the beginning of the sentence. The reason is simply that when we are searching we tend to scan the results instead of reading and so for me it feels it’s faster to make the decision to click on somewhere that can I see on the first nanosecond what this is about.

It’s also a matter of what works best for your company so you can do a split test of both formats:

  1. keywords/brand name
  2. brand name/ keywords

and see what works best. If you have a strong brand name then I suppose option 2 can give you great results as well.

Pro tip:

If you are using WordPress consider installing the Yoast SEO plugin. I’m not affiliated or anything, but it’s a nice free plugin (it has a premium version as well) that offers nice tools and it gives you tips and guidelines on how to write better meta tags.

 

Final thoughts

The perfect SEO title is what the market decides not what we like. Fancy titles with word games and click baits do not work well, so always think like a customer and what they would search for.

Thank you for reading it and I hope it was helpful to you. Feel free to share it 🙂

See you next time.

 

 

Simple tips to make your website load faster (not too techy)

Here I am, I who I consider myself tech-savvy and I know how to make nice websites etc etc… being sloppy and making rookie mistakes that affect the speed of a website I have been building.

If you have a slideshow or use many images on your website (first page or more pages) it’s is imperative to optimize these images for the web. Even if you make a mock-up, make sure that the images are well optimized.

A general rule is to not have images more than 500kb in size, but I believe if you range between 600-800kb, then you are fine.

So here are a couple of things you need to do:

  1. If you download stock images, make sure you reduce their dimensions (pixels) to fit your website properly.
  2. If you are using WordPress the following one is a must-do thing, IMO. This is kind of technical but just copy-paste what I show you here. You need to have access to your files via FTP or some sort of file manager. Then locate the .htacess file and copy-paste the following:
    #Customize expires cache start - adjust the period according to your needs
    <IfModule mod_expires.c>
      FileETag MTime Size
      AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE text/plain text/html text/xml text/css application/xml application/xhtml+xml application/rss+xml application/javascript application/x-javascript
      ExpiresActive On
      ExpiresByType text/html "access 600 seconds"
      ExpiresByType application/xhtml+xml "access 600 seconds"
      ExpiresByType text/css "access 1 month"
      ExpiresByType text/javascript "access 1 month"
      ExpiresByType text/x-javascript "access 1 month"
      ExpiresByType application/javascript "access 1 month"
      ExpiresByType application/x-javascript "access 1 month"
      ExpiresByType application/x-shockwave-flash "access 1 month"
      ExpiresByType application/pdf "access 1 month"
      ExpiresByType image/x-icon "access 1 year"
      ExpiresByType image/jpg "access 1 year"  
      ExpiresByType image/jpeg "access 1 year"
      ExpiresByType image/png "access 1 year"
      ExpiresByType image/gif "access 1 year"
      ExpiresDefault "access 1 month"
    </IfModule>
    #Expires cache end

    What it does is that it sets some expiration dates for the resources of your website. You can read more here:  and this article also explains how to do the above by using a plugin, so you won’t have to worry about FTP or accessing files 🙂

There are way more things that you can do that can help your website to load faster, but the above steps are a good start.

I also use the following “website speed check services”:

https://gtmetrix.com/

and

https://tools.pingdom.com/

 

which are great free tools that can help you check if your site is fast enough or help you identify any problematic areas.

I hope my mini-guide will help you and if you have any questions, please let me know in the comments.

If I know I’ll be happy to help 😀